A WOMAN who has been battling breast cancer has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award after starting an online blog about her journey to inspire others.
Katie Claydon, who lives in Birdwell and works at Barnsley Hospital, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January after discovering a lump in her breast.
The 22-year-old, who was left reeling by the news, is determined to remain positive and has since started an Instagram page – dearcancer_itskatie – to share her story and inspire others who are in a similar situation.
Katie’s page has connected her with people all over the world who are going through chemotherapy at her age and hopes to encourage others to check their breasts.
She said: “When I first spotted a lump my heart sank. I know people often think that this stuff doesn’t happen at my age – but it does.
“It’s been hard to adjust and it’s very daunting so I took to social media to chronicle my journey through treatment.
“I post regular updates and tips I’ve picked up along the way. If I can inspire at least one person to check their breasts then it’s all been worth it.
“I want to break down the stigma of cancer, especially at my age, and thought that social media would be the best way to connect with similar people.
“It’s been amazing to talk to other people because it makes me feel less alone – we’re trying to help each other through.”
Katie has recently started chemotherapy, which she refers to as ‘sending in the bailiffs’.
“I try to make things as light-hearted as possible, it’s something that just happens so why not face it head on.
“I’m by no means an expert, but I’m learning as I go which I think we can all relate too.
“I’ve started chemotherapy which has been fine so far. I’ve had amazing support from friends and family.”
Katie’s bravery has landed her nomination in the Triumph Over Adversity category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.
“This is a proper surprise, I can’t believe it. Thank you to whoever nominated me, it’s amazing.
“It’s weird because I never set out to have recognition, I just wanted to share my story and raise awareness.”